fgmThe first UK prosecutions over female genital mutilation will help to take the crime "out of the shadows" and will give victims the confidence to come forward according to Crime Reduction Minister James Brokenshire.

In the first case of its kind, Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena will be prosecuted for an alleged offence at the Whittington Hospital in 2012 involving a woman that had recently given birth. Hasan Mohamed, 40, is charged with encouraging female genital mutilation. Both will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on April 15.

Speaking on behalf of the Home Office, Mr. Brokenshire said the authorities have stepped up their response to FGM and that the key message from the case is that was that the government took the crime "extremely seriously".

Further reading: ACPO committed to fight against FGM

Director of public prosecutions Alison Saunders said the CPS was asked by the Metropolitan Police to consider evidence in relation to an allegation of female genital mutilation.

It was alleged that following a patient giving birth in November 2012, a doctor at the Whittington Hospital repaired female genital mutilation that had previously been performed on the woman, allegedly carrying out female genital mutilation himself.

MPs have said it is "unforgivable" that there have been no UK prosecutions since laws against FGM were introduced nearly 30 years ago. This was despite more than 140 referrals to police in the past four years.

The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 replaced a 1985 Act, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, raising the maximum penalty from five to 14 years in prison.